Wednesday, 27 March 2013

1B Question Representation

Evaluate the ways you have challenged or used representations in one of the media products you have produced.

I am going to discuss how I managed to use and challenge representations in my advanced portfolio. I have produced a music video called 'Starry Eyed' which had two artists rapping within the song. After doing a lot of research via interviewing potential audience we decided that the song came under the 'UK rap' genre. We have targeted an audience of both male and female aged between 18 - 25. A lot of audience research using You-Tube was done to help us come up with this final decision, as we asked over thirty individuals if they would watch the music video after briefing them on what it's about. Both of the artist's are male, which we discovered is the stereotypical gender for a rap artist as it is rare to find female rap artist in the current industry.

During the construction of my music video I decided to follow many stereotypical representations of the UK rap artists. The song is filled with meaning and pain from our main artist Moonz Outkast as he speaks about his struggle from previous experiences of friends who have betrayed him of those who passed away. We used careful mise-en-scene through dressing our characters in stereotypical urban clothing;  for example, the stereotypical view would consist of baggy clothing, american baseball caps and jewelry. I made Moonz Outkast wear an american snap-back (cap), baggy jeans, a baggy denim jacket along with rings and ear-rings. We represented him in a positive way to our target audience as I feel the urban look helped build a connection between my artist and my audience through iconography. We were hoping that our target audience will look up to our artist as they may be able to relate to him by dressing him as an everyday London teenager. I feel by dressing him in this way we have managed to gather a large audience within the UK as Moonz can be looked at by the audience as 'one of us'.

Another positive representation was made of Moonz Outkast through narrative. During the music video there is a part where a young woman is being mistreated by her boyfriend. Moonz then raps about this and almost comforts her by presenting her with a note which contains a positive message. This goes against Mulvey's theory of using female characters for visual pleasure as the female character is given a lot more value within the music video. He devotes a part of his verse to rap about young woman telling them to ignore the difficulties a guy may put them through and to work to achieve. This goes against stereotypes of females being used as an object, this was done to put a positive message across to the audience which I believe was done very well. I also believe these positive representations have created a very positive reputation for Moonz from both our male and female audience as he is shown to go against the stereotypical representation of using a female actor as eye candy by making sure her cloths are kept on within the music video, providing her with worth and value.

The stereotypical artist of the UK rap industry is looked to be 'tough' and 'masculine'. Moonz has presented him self as neither of these, he shows confidence within his ability to rap and is almost represented as a father figure who is here to set a positive message to his audience. This challenges stereotypes giving him a unique image, differentiating him self from the everyday UK rap artist. I feel this is a good way to present him self as it gives the audience a different type of person to look up to, instead of the expected rough looking, aggressive male artist. Moonz almost presents him self as a freedom fighter who likes to speak the truth and his audience does respect him for this.

In conclusion some stereotypical representations have been used through mise-en-scene such as costume and many have been challenged. Female actors have been given value and worth within the music video which is different from the everyday music video as women in the everyday music video are normally used as eye candy and are made to dress seductively.

Friday, 1 March 2013

David Gauntlett (Theorist) Media on the online age

People in the past would distribute media in different ways. They needed powerful distribution companies to help put media out to the public. They also needed expensive equipment to record visuals and audio. These days there's websites that allow distribution such as youtube and wikipedia and can simply be produced using a mobile phone.

People watching less TV and are going online more
Women spending more time then men online
People consuming politics online (Barack Obama)

Before people didn't get the choice of what they wanted to watch, distributed media is pre-selected. Online people get to see what they want as it's very open for people to use.

On one hand, I agree with Gauntlett's ideas as I feel media distribution has changed as time goes past. Gauntlett stated that in the past people had no choice on what to watch as they have no control on what gets distributed. In recent days people have now use the internet to access programs to their demand. This has attracted many people, cutting down the usage of television.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

How does the media effect the audience

Propaganda - How a media message can brain wash the audience to think in a specific way, effecting the society. This is done by presenting one side of the story

Cultivation Theory - Sending out positive or negative messages to effect the thoughts of the audience on the real world, i.e. the news (crime) will cause worry within parents as it may make the world we live in today worst then it actually is. Television's long term effect, main assumption is the longer somebody watches television the more people believe social reality portrayed on television.

Hypodermic Needle Theory - Media injects ideas into a passive audience.

Moral Panic - An intense feeling expressed into the target audience as it has the possibility to effect the social disorder by an individual or a group of people. This is done to effect the mass media, sending out messages to destroy moral barricades causing major concern. An example of this can be the pregnancy rate of teenage girls. This brings up the question if the current society is a passive or active audience. A lot of concern was generated within the society because of teenage pregnancy and a lot of action was taken i.e. applying bans. Now you can tell me if this was a over reaction or was it the 'sensible' way of thinking?

Passive audience - Audience who are vulnerable to messages passed down through the media and are easily influenced. The opposite of this is an active audience. This is when the audience can think for them self and make their own decisions on thinking despite what is shown on the television. Wertham believed that comics would brain wash the child's mind and comics can easily expose them to violence. But why blame the television and not blame our selves?

Media text effect on children - It is a known fact that media text effect children as they do not know the difference between real life and fantasy. An aggressive cartoon can cause children to behave aggressively.

Two Step Flow Theory

  • Leader
  • Mass Audience
  • Audience
Information is passed down from leader to audience through the mass audience.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Conventions (1A)

Narrative - Goodwin's theory (For)

  • Relationship between lyrics and visuals
  • Many close ups of the artist
  • Demonstration of genre characteristics
  • Voyeuristic treatments to the female body
  • Textual references to T.V shows or other music videos.

Costume - Stereotypical image of the everyday UK artist.
Editing - Pace change depending on tempo of rap
Location - Urban location 'Skate park'

Essay -

Describe the ways in which your production work was informed by research into real media texts and how your ability to use such research for production developed over time.

Over time I noticed that research into real media texts is very important as it helps me tease out conventions, to inform my own planning.  From this informed position I could decide whether to adhere to or challenge those conventions. I feel like I have increasingly understood the importance of researching conventions in order to produce a professional media product, the evidence of this is the music video I have produced for my advanced media portfolio.

For my foundation portfolio I had to look into thriller conventions particularly at crime and man on the run sub-genres as we aimed to create a hybrid. We made sure that the narrative centers around crime as our camera shots are recreated as police CCTV footage that is being used to solve a committed crime. This was adhering to thriller conventions as crime is a important aspect of thriller conventions which our opening sequence persisted of. I also hinted to the audience that this thriller may lead to a man on the run. I did this by putting my protagonist in a situation where running from the situation he has been placed in is the easiest and best option. This hybrid involves conventions from three different genres 'crime, man on the run and thriller' through the help of my research on media products.

My research into media conventions allowed me to discover a main convention used in thriller films where the antagonist ensnares the protagonist into a really complexed situation to the point that he feels helpless. This is done in my thriller opening when my protagonist character is in trouble with authority even though he is completely innocent. This follows the thriller convention that I have discovered through my research as my protagonist character is forced into a difficult situation, making him feel helpless. While doing my research I discovered that the antagonist and protagonist are both presented as the dark, evil villain or the kind, strong hero. Both of my characters were presented within the thriller opening in stereotypical ways. The antagonist is wearing dark clothing and is shown to have aggressive facial expressions while the protagonist is represented as happy, good willing and bright.